Turisas (en)

Last time SOM interviewed Turisas the band was just about the release Stand up and Fight. Now, after a year, we met the guitar player Jussi Wickstrom to talk about the band's past year, their growth, new experiences, award winning experience and much more. Check it out!!!

interview TurisasLast time we (Spirit of Metal) talked to you guys last year you were about to release Stand Up and Fight. Can you tell us a little bit about the band’s transition from that period of time until now?
First of all, we did the American tour in February and since then [our] accordion player decided to leave the band in the middle of the tour. She didn’t leave the band instantly, we did some shows with her and then she decided to do other things and not to be in the band anymore. At the same time our bass player decided to leave.

We started the first tour with the new bass player Jukka [Pekka Miettinen] and new keyboard player Robert [Engstrand] at Heidenfest in Europe. Since then it has been quite stable, which is nice. And I think the band actually sounds better now. Everyone is getting along really well.

You have released “Stand Up and Fight” last year. Can you tell us a little bit about the experiences with this album?
Actually it has been quite hectic. We have been touring even before the album came out and we kind of continued until now. These [Paganfest] are the last shows and I think we have like, one festival in the summer. We are starting to work on a new album.

So… it has been practically touring the whole time. This is the first headlining US tour ever, which is nice. We did a headlining tour in Europe also, we played in Australia… so, it has been really good.

Talking about your previous visits to America: are there any noticeable changes between this headlining tour and the previous ones?
We have done 3 tours before this one here in the US. The first one was the first PaganFest in 2008 or something [like that] and we were co-headlining that. Then we did support for Dragonforce and support for Cradle of Filth. Of course there is a big difference when comparing [this tour] to those because [on those] we played like, 30 minutes, second or first band after the doors open.

So, [this] is the first [time] we play a full set in the US and of course it’s kind of nice to be the headliner and have your own backstage [room] and all that stuff… better conditions.

How have the concerts been so far in this tour?
On this tour, really good…I think we had quite many sold out shows. I didn’t expect this much so, I’m really happy for that.

I saw on your Facebook page that Mathias was sick…?
Yeah… it’s kind of normal on tour. When one guy gets
interview Turisas sick everybody gets sick. Everyone had a kind of flu but [they’re] getting better now. It’s ok… nothing serious… or well, our bass player kind of broke his rib when we had a fight on the bus for fun… (laughs).

Last time I saw you, you said you would go to the desert here in California to shoot a video. Is the video for “Stand Up and Fight” a result of that day?
Yes it was for that video.

Any more videos planned for this trip?
No, not at this moment (laughs). We’ll see…I don’t know what the plan is exactly but we are trying to make the album much faster this time so we can release it hopefully next year. It would be nice to start with a US tour again and I don’t know if we would do another video then. It’s kind of cheaper to do a video in the US than it is to do a video in Europe. And there are many cool locations to shoot in one country [the US]… so many different places.

Is this next album going to be as symphonic as the last one?
There is not much concrete stuff yet. It’s kind of on a planning stage at the moment. I think it will be kind of similar but I think we will still try to make something new and different. It’s kind of boring to do the same album all over again so…

About the band’s lineup: do you guys have any plans to find another accordion player in the future or is all of that going to be done on keyboards from now on?
I don’t think we are going to have any accordion players anymore. In the last album there weren’t even any parts for the accordion so, there is not that much use for it anymore. That was kind of the reason for [why we added] the keyboard player.

Are the new band members completely used to the band now?
I think they are. It’s funny because after the first tour [we did together] it already felt like we had been together for many years, so it was kind of a good thing. I already knew the bass player because he used to play in Ensiferum but I hadn’t seen him for a few years. And Robert, the keyboard player, plays for professional party bands, weddings and stuff like that in Finland. He is a really good player.

You guys were the big winners of the Finish Metal awards this year. Were you expecting that?
No, not really. When I see these things in Finland, these metal awards, it’s usually all the same bands we know like Children of Bodom, Nightwish, etc. So, it was k
interview Turisasind of unexpected. It was nice but unexpected.

So, there are the big names from Finland that everybody knows like Nightwish and Children of Bodom. Is Turisas the next big Finish name in metal?
I hope so (laughs). It would be nice but you never know where the music industry will go. But…I hope so.

Besides the new album, any other plans for next year?
Ah… I don’t know. Touring wise we would like to do more headlining shows. We have done so many support shows in the past so we will try to make more headlining shows, we will try to do South America (we have never done South America) and hopefully go back to Japan.

Last time you were working on a new album you guys released some videos with news from the studio. Are you planning to do that again for this next album?
Yeah, I’m pretty sure that we will do some kind of studio blog or something like that.

Are the make up and costumes going to continue the same?
I don’t see why we would actually let off the makeup. But we will probably maybe upgrade the costumes again. Because now we are using the same that we used on the last album pictures and now they are wearing off so of course they have to be remade or we have to make new ones.

So you guys have only one set of clothing?
Kind of…yeah.

Really? For the entire tour?
Yeah… for the whole year…They are kind of smelly and you can’t wash them because they are leather.

So… what do you do after the concerts?
We try to hang them outside and hope they will dry before the show but they usually don’t so they are kind of wet when you put them on… it’s kind of not so nice (laughs).

Really??? (laughs) I thought you guys had 2 or 3 set of clothing or something like that.
No… So when your clothes break down you are like: “Fuck… I have to find a tape or something to fix it before the show”.

So what happens if your luggage doesn’t arrive?
That never happened. Well… once around 2003 for a Finish show one guy lost his stage clothes so he played naked. That was like… when we were nothing.

Any messages to the SOM readers?
Not much… Hopefully we will come back to US soon and make a lot of shows.

Interview done by Deesse_de_la_nuit

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